End of the Semester Insomnia Rambling Thoughts

grad“In truth,

who we are is fiercer than anything we know.”

~ Nancy Collier

The good thing is this – it’s only four times a year or so. I’ve been through much worse… I’ve struggled with insomnia – really scary amounts of it at a few points in time, for around 14 years now. Before that it was the “normal” kind. Worried about a test, up all night with the baby, excited to marry the man of my dreams…. But – by and large, I’ve got routines and interventions in place that have these all nighters narrowed down to four times a year or so. And the great thing is – it’s not really any longer a gigantic big deal.

It’s kind of like going to the dentist. It’s a little bit like getting ready for a birthday party.

It sometimes reminds me of childbirth.

It’s no worse than waiting on an oil change.

It’s like meeting a new gynecologist for the first time and finding out that he is old, ugly and short.

Oh well. C’est la vie, right?

No – these quarterly lay awake all night episodes have a scientific link – it happens with every season change. Go ahead and roll your eyes if you need to about Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s a thing. It’s on my chart and lands me a half-dozen or so check ups a year to be sure that my GrandPlansToSleep a solid 8 most nights of the year has fallen off course.

And, yes – it’s all in my head.

Which happens to contain my brain.

Which creates (and doesn’t create) chemicals that lead to a decent day after day and night after night… Yet….in the end….my hope is this: I never want a Dark Night of the Soul episode…ever…again. Literally. I can’t control that I suppose, but I dread the idea that the night may become my enemy at some point again. Night is for sleep. I’d rather wrestle demons in the day time, thank you very much. long range kitchen color plan So…last night I never did fall asleep.

I tried every single trick, of which I have honed to approximately a dozen. No luck. Oh well. Instead, I got sleepy watching “Madmen” for the first time with the volume too low to hear and my glasses off. (trick #8) Oh my goodness – that looks like an awesome series. Note to self.

And then, I got sleepy enough that my muscles started to twitch and my mind settled while listening to Kate Rusby on Pandora. (trick #2) No luck. She broke out into a fiddle reel and I got wound up about needing a passport if I’m ever going to Ireland.

So, I broke my CardinalRule of stay horizontal until 5 a.m. and brewed some coffee at 4:00. But…. at those several points when I tried to pray (trick #1, #7 & #12) they all kept landing back on hearing words like “you deserve this” and “don’t give up” and “just keep moving.” Motivational poster sayings. I HATE motivational poster sayings. So I became annoyed and woke right back up…

What brought me peace and lead to the decision to break my lay still until 5 a.m. rule was that for just a moment – I had a teeny, tiny little moment of: “you are enough.”

My nanosecond of real calm doesn’t change the fact that I have a crap pile of life to untangle…but for a moment as I was en route to dozing to a Celtic tune – I let myself be strong. So, if you too are experiencing your quarterly Spring to Summer Serotonin Spiritual Review – feel free to skip straight to giving yourself an A+ and consider this quote by Nancy Collier. I feel pretty certain that she is a Deaf woman who I quoted in a paper…she could also be someone else – it’s a sticky note quote on my desk that I just noticed…maybe she is Kate Rusby’s lead fiddle player, and is blind…who knows. At any rate…

“In truth,

who we are is

fiercer

than anything we know.”

~ Nancy Collier

Wendell Berry: Everything is Here

Everything is Here

Geese appear high over us,

pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,

as in love or sleep, holds

them to their way, clear

in the ancient faith: what we we need

is here. And we pray, not

for new earth or heaven, but to be

quiet in heart, and in eye,

clear. What we need is here.

~ Wendell Berry

Dear Kate: These are Your 2014 Goals. Good Luck, Me

photo (1)I don’t have a clue what my 2013 New Year thoughts were, do you remember yours?

I’m sure they were mostly: “Get a job, maybe. Lose weight, hopefully.”

Go me, both happened and with much bigger and better results than I had imagined at all at this point 12 months ago.

So, before my super sticky notes dry up and fall down, here’s where I’m at for 2014.photo

photo (2)

Good luck me, good luck you!

P.S. Ouch. I had to look up the spelling of Ha-Rang. Definition = busted. I do that at home. A lot.

Does Change Have to Happen All at Once?

Aside

“But Gemma, you could change the world.”

“That should take far more than my power,” I say.

“True. But change needn’t happen all at once. It can be small gestures.”

“Moments. Do you understand?” He’s looking at me differently now, though I cannot say how. I only know I need to look away…

We pass by the pools, where the mud larks sift. And for only a few seconds, I let the magic loose again.

“Oi! By all the saints!” a boy cries from the river.

“Gone off the dock?” an old woman calls. The mud larks break into cackles.

“‘S not a rock!” he shouts. He races out of the fog, cradling something in his palm.

Curiosity gets the better of the others. They crowd about trying to see. In his palm is a smattering of rubies. “We’re rich mates! It’s a hot bath and a full belly for every one of us!”

Kartik eyes me suspiciously. “That was a strange stroke of good fortune.”

“Yes it was.”

“I don’t suppose that was your doing.”

“I’m not sure I don’t know what you mean,” I say.

And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.”
―     Libba Bray,     The Sweet Far Thing

 

 

 

Forgiveness Friday:Easter in Iowa

“…in the real world it may take you many years to find out that the stranger you talked to once for half an hour in the railroad station may have done more to point you to where your true homeland lies than your priest or your best friend or even your psychiatrist.”

~ Frederick Buechner,

as quoted by Anne Lamott in Bird By Bird

I read this quote by Anne Lamott just a few minutes ago. The book is a “why to” and “how to” book for writers. The reason I highlighted that passage that is in her chapter on character was that it hit home on another level first.

Moving sucks.

Beyond the joy, excitement, and surprise of how great life has become in the past year (that’s how long it’s been since we started working on our move from Ohio to Iowa), now that the moving part is over and the visiting part has started, I’m not sure if the hard parts are over or just getting started.

You know, the whole, making friends thing. “I would hate that” a friend from years ago told me on the phone the other night, and she is at the tippy top of my most friendly and extroverted peeps list.

Don’t get me wrong…over all even the friend making part of the process is going well. In my family of five, I’d say that two of us are fairly introverted, and the other three extroverted. When I take an objective look, we are all moving along in this department at a healthy pace.

The extroverts have been out there doing their gregarious thing which is paying off in the form of being less worried about joining three versus five different groups – it’s all good and layers of bestest friends seem to have potential in days to come as I see it. Half-court shots, new baseball hats, and lazy days of frisbee golf were beyond my imagination a year ago. Couldn’t of thunk it if I tried.

And the normal people my more introverted son and I are doing just fine as well. We’ve scoped out our environments, our assessments are fully filed in our mental file cabinets, and what the heck, we’re accepting invites to coffee and pizza anyway. Why not, right?

For me, I’m fairly adjusted to the reality that for many friends and acquaintances that we left behind in Ohio, out of sight is out of mind. It’s just life. The first few times we went back for a visit we got some reactions like, “Huh? We thought you moved? Git along little doggies.”

Now, what I hear is “So you still like it out there? Good. We miss you, but we’re glad you are happy -that’s what counts. Don’t worry. Nothing has changed here…” (Which is true…we were in a Mayberry type of community, so no worries on corporate take over or closed highways).

I can choose to sulk and analyze this out of sight/out of mind thing, or just roll with it and be honest that the same is true on my end. I’m already forgetting names, connections, scuttlebutt, and am getting mixed up on big events like divorce and illness and new-found love. That’s me though…I’m the know the forest not the trees person, so it fits. But, even if I was a detail person…the energy that it has taken to adjust to our new surroundings would have me mixing up the oaks and pines on occasion I’m sure.

So, Forgiveness Friday. It’s the week after Easter, and that quote from Buechner fits just right, as this is the week that we hear readings about a lot of walking and talking with the resurrected Christ. Indeed, at this point in the Gospel story, strangers on the journey become a source of truth and clarity with as much validity as the original disciples.

Who knows, maybe strangers are more objective and therefore quite wise.

How interesting that mourning, and fear, and surprising moments of joy get all jumbled during these type of days and phases of life.

‘Scarcely take it in sometimes, you know?